on time (in 3 sentences)
Looking around them at what passed for 'the world,' modernists decided that time was the one thing of which we never have enough, so they wrote in such a way as to make moments in time work again and again. Time in writing can be synchronous, while narrative is not just inherently conservative (putting things in order and seeming to demand cause-and-effect relations). Narrative makes us end, or die, too soon. In writing we can really live.
This was composed in response to:
"I am the editor of PENN Arts & Sciences, the alumni quarterly of the School of Arts and Sciences. For our spring issue, we're puting together a number of stories related to the theme of TIME. We'd like to do a sidebar quoting a number of faculty from various disciplines who respond to the question: What is time? I'm hoping you could answer this question--IN 1 OR 2 SENTENCES--from the perspective of your field. I realize it's ridiculous to expect you to answer the question comprehensively in a couple sentences. Feel free to have fun with it or to answer it straight."
Last modified: Monday, 18-Mar-2002 09:25:43 EST